As everyone knows, buying a home in California is MUCH more expensive than buying a home in almost all the other states. Generally we compare states using the “median home value.” According to Zillow, the July 2020 median home value in the U.S. is $248,857. The CA median home value is $578,857. BTW, the median home value in my San Diego County is $628,519.
But it’s actually worse than that. There’s two other factors to consider that seldom are mentioned.
How much smaller are CA lots? The average California home lot (5,575 square feet — SF) is about HALF the national average (10,871 SF). But remember, CA has about 11% of the nation’s homes — and those CA homes are part of the nation average. Take out the CA homes, and we find that the average lot in other 49 states is 11,526 SF).
2. The size of the house.
From the same source, we can find the average home square footage in each state. Not surprisingly, CA has small homes (1,625 SF) compared to the national average (1,761 SF). Indeed, there are only four states with smaller average homes:
Ohio 1,620 SF (essentially tied with CA’s 1,625 SF)
Iowa 1,550 SF
Michigan 1,530 SF
Hawaii 1,308 SF
In the United States, residential lawns average 10,871 square feet (or roughly a quarter of an acre). This depends greatly on location.
For instance, the average lawn size in California is 5,575 square feet. This is calculated by taking the average lot size in CA, or 7,200 square feet, and subtracting the average home size, 1,625 square feet. Meanwhile, locals in Montana get more than an acre and a half of yard space. That’s 71,576 square feet!
See how your state’s average backyard size compares to the rest of the United States!
NOTE: To enlarge this graphic, view it via the URL.